The Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) announced this week that it had received a grant to continue its deployment of connected vehicle technology, which the agency will use to help prevent crashes on the Interstate 80 corridor.
The technology uses short-range communication, and according to the agency, it will allow truck drivers and WYDOT fleets to “talk” with one another on the road and communicate with roadside infrastructure.
The I-80 corridor has the highest traffic volume in the state. Combining that volume with winter weather can result in dangerous conditions for drivers. According to WYDOT, I-80 saw more than 1,400 crashes with 13 deaths in the past year. In April 2015, an I-80 chain-reaction crash involving 60 vehicles killed two people.
The new technology should in theory cut down on the crashes, as commercial drivers will have more awareness of hazards and situations.
The three-phase project costs $5.7 million. The federal government contributed $4.4 million as part of the grant. According to WYDOT, Wyoming is one of only three locations around the country to participate in the Connected Vehicle Pilot Deployment Program.
Phase one, which focused on planning, is done. Phase two, which will include designing, building and testing the equipment, is estimated to take 20 months.